News / Africa

Agriculture Day Set to Dominate at Climate Conference

A view of the opening ceremony of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha November 26, 2012. A view of the opening ceremony of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha November 26, 2012.
x
A view of the opening ceremony of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha November 26, 2012.
A view of the opening ceremony of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha November 26, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to interview with Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda and Kim Lewis

TEXT SIZE - +
Kim Lewis
As delegates meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, to craft a new international climate agreement after the 1997 Kyoto treaty expires next month, another group will be calling attention to the huge role agriculture could play in being part of the solution to climate change. 

Agriculture, Landscapes, and Livelihoods Day will take place at the conference on December 3.  The event hopes to put into place a dedicated work program to help farmers adapt to climate change, and to showcase solutions agriculture can provide in mitigating the effects of climate change. 

Dr. Lindiwe Sibanda, is CEO of the Africa-wide Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network, FANRPAN, and is also spokesperson for global-agriculture coalition Farming First. She said agriculture is a crucial sector for many economies, especially the developing countries.  It supports the livelihoods for millions of people and also provides socio-economic empowerment, so it is vitally important that agriculture be a part of the talks in Doha.

“Well, I think the main thing to appreciate is that agriculture contributes to global emissions.  But,  at the same time, good agriculture is good for the environment, and it can actually reduce emissions and also counter any emissions that are already out there, explained Sibanda, who added, while improving agriculture techniques is a global issue, it is particularly important for Africa. 

“I think when you look at negotiations, you are looking at Africa as a continent with close to 54 countries that are members of the U.N., out of close to 200 member countries of the U.N.  We are saying, particularly for developing countries, particularly for Africa, where our heads of state have articulated that agriculture is the backbone of our economy.  We are calling on all of the African negotiators to prioritize agriculture, and push for a deal that recognizes a work program for agriculture," said Sibanda.     

She explained at present, African farmers are producing only about one-tenth of what they could be producing, due to difficult environmental conditions and a lack of technology. 

She said now is the time to focus on improving the use of natural resources and technology, “the technologies on the shelf need to be adapted to the local environment.  And that’s why local research at local levels is a critical role to play.  And then finally, we know there are technologies such as conservation agriculture, which can allow us to reduce emissions and use natural resources to enhance the fertility of our soil. And other technologies that farmers are willing to adopt, so that they can adapt to climate change.” 

Sibanda stressed these types of improvements require money that many developing countries do not have, and this too creates more challenges.

“The extension services need to be beefed-up so farmers can access knowledge.  The research needs to downscale technology to the farmer level.  So that too needs investment and finances… so farmers are willing to adapt in Africa, but they need help in accessing the technology.  And the technology needs to be appropriate for their conditions,” said Sibanda.

Sibanda described the Agriculture Day conference scheduled for December 3 as having more significant meaning for this year’s climate conference, “this year we are not just calling it, Agriculture and World Development, we’re calling it Agriculture, Landscapes and Livelihoods because the people are important in this whole process.  The landscapes are important, and we are hoping to showcase some of the specific solutions for mitigating and adaptation, that can benefit farmers, particularly small-holder farmers.”

Sibanda emphasized putting agriculture in the spotlight is not just for the benefit of Africa.  She said food security is a global issue, and farmers worldwide are producing food under very difficult circumstances.  The climate conference is a good way to showcase gaps in knowledge regarding mitigating the effects of climate change, and offers a platform for educating, and implementing solutions to the effects of climate change.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid